“Dear so and so. I'm a young photographer shooting a series of portraits of celebrated New Yorkers. If you could spare a few minutes of your time I would very much like to photograph you.”Michael Tighe began his career by writing and mailing letters to New York artists and entertainers in 1974. He sent out between 30 and 40 letters a week, hearing back initially from two or three people over the course of two years who, to his surprise, all said yes: Al Hirschfield (New York Times cartoonist), Frank Stella (artist), Allen Funt (Mr. Candid Camera).
Tighe has been shooting photos since he was a kid. It was his dad's hobby. So he had great cameras and a real darkroom from the get go. Started shooting formal portraits and working professionally when he was nineteen in 1974, after studying with famed portrait photographers Philippe Halsman and Arnold Newman, major influences in his early work.
|Harvey Keitel with his daughter Stella|
(Photos © Michael Tighe)